GOOD

Occupy Your Diary: New Platform Links the Intimate Moments that Make Up an Event

Cowbird is a publishing site for people searching for "more personal storytelling than you're likely to find anywhere else on the Web."

In the cacophony of the internet, the emphasis on speed and volume can drown out richer and more immersive storytelling. Part of the problem is the existing platforms and what we've come to expect from them: 140 characters is deliberately restrictive, and blogs are meant to be punchy. Cowbird, the latest project from digital media artist and storyteller Jonathan Harris, provides a new community forum for interactive, multimedia storytelling. The goal is to create a space for "deeper, longer-lasting, more personal storytelling than you're likely to find anywhere else on the web."


The publishing tool, which was released publicly today, allows users to keep personal diaries or contribute their stories to collaboratively chart the progress of news events, or "sagas," which Harris defines as "things that touch millions of lives and define the human story," like Occupy Wall Street. The story of the Occupy movement—unfolding as a series of moments affecting people across the world, broadcasted via a vast array of media—is knit together on Cowbird as a mosaic of time-plotted images, words, and audio submitted by participants. There's the image of the first ever general assembly at Zuccotti Park on September 17. There's the moment on October 30 when one protester kisses his girlfriend goodbye before leaving Missoula, Montana to join the movement. Or the story that Harris himself shares of his arrest at Occupy Oakland on November 3. The tool's tagging features allow you to zero in on the different characters or places that compose a story. According to the site, the ultimate goal is "a public library of human experience—kind of like a Wikipedia for real life (but much more beautiful)."

Even if you're not politically inclined, Cowbird provides many features that make the platform stand out from other publishing tools. Storytellers can easily post full-screen photos, geotag moments to create a map of their lives, create subtitles for audio to play alongside images, and even turn those subtitles into links.

Cowbird is slowly adding new members, so if you're interested, click here to apply for an invitation.

Photo via (cc) Flickr user kevinspencer

Articles
Screenshot via Sweden.se/Twitter (left) Wikimedia Commons (right)

Greta Thunberg has been dubbed the "Joan of Arc of climate change" for good reason. The 16-year-old activist embodies the courage and conviction of the unlikely underdog heroine, as well as the seemingly innate ability to lead a movement.

Thunberg has dedicated her young life to waking up the world to the climate crisis we face and cutting the crap that gets in the way of fixing it. Her speeches are a unique blend of calm rationality and no-holds-barred bluntness. She speaks truth to power, dispassionately and unflinchingly, and it is glorious.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less
Science

The disappearance of 40-year-old mortgage broker William Earl Moldt remained a mystery for 22 years because the technology used to find him hadn't been developed yet.

Moldt was reported missing on November 8, 1997. He had left a nightclub around 11 p.m. where he had been drinking. He wasn't known as a heavy drinker and witnesses at the bar said he didn't seem intoxicated when he left.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Gage Skidmore

The common stereotypes about liberals and conservatives are that liberals are bleeding hearts and conservatives are cold-hearted.

It makes sense, conservatives want limited government and to cut social programs that help the more vulnerable members of society. Whereas liberals don't mind paying a few more dollars in taxes to help the unfortunate.

A recent study out of Belgium scientifically supports the notion that people who scored lower on emotional ability tests tend to have right-wing and racist views.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics